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A Mother’s Love That Never Dies

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It was the fourth quarter, sweat drips down the faces of the players as they all anticipate the win.They waited for Mrs. Daykin to blow the whistle signaling go, when it did three kids on the yellow team fell. The blue team defended their class title as undefeated and the yellow team was trying to regain their dignity. Their hearts beat to their unsteady breath, trying to regain their thoughts as they charge forward to take down their opponents.

Mrs. Daykin stands back in awe, as her eighth grade sixth period P.E class viciously attacked each other in a simple game of flag football.

The students were set up starting at the ten yard line, blue team’s star quarterback Dillon James DAG Weatherly once again emerged from behind the team’s center Rustum Ali. Rustum, or as he prefers to be called Rage, pushes through the crowd of students making a way for Dillon to run through and make a touchdown. The whole team is hungry for the win.

Both teams decided to make it interesting and change things up for once, sudden death winner takes all. Yellow team soon regrets their agreement with this statement as Dillon soon charges past the end zone taking the win with the final touchdown. Blue team takes the win once again.

“I remember one time we were at a football event for Dillon and they were handing out awards, when all of a sudden the coach started talking about this great player and how he would always come early and stay late to help set up. Always striving to do better and always practicing even when practice was over. I remember looking at my husband Jeff and thinking, wow! I wish that was Dillon you know? Then all of a sudden the coach said really loud into the microphone, “Dillon Weatherly!” I remember being so proud and feeling so happy for him,” said Felicia Weatherly.

Mrs. Weatherly is the mother of Dillon Weatherly. She is a local high school teacher at River City High School, who teaches Jazz Band or the “Syncopating Sea Monkeys”. She started teaching at RCHS in 1997.

Mrs. Weatherly said, “The first year, Jacob Carriker who is now a chef at a restaurant named Fahrenheit 250, so he wanted the original band name to be the “Drowning Sea Monkeys, ” but later on, they both agreed on the sea monkeys.

In class she makes jokes all the time, she is very specific of what she is saying to her students. She happily dances with the songs that her students are playing, and whenever someone doesn’t listen to her she always tell them, “ Don’t give me wrinkles,” with a smile, when the students are playing a song she goes to every student to observe what they are doing wrong and right.

Weatherly is a fun, spunky, and compassionate person not just to her friends and family but, also to her students.

“I love teaching, making music, teaching music, everything about music, and riding horses,” Weatherly said.

Mrs. Weatherly has been through a lot this year including the death of her oldest son Dillon . Over the summer they had gone on a camping trip and while they were staying there Dillon had  taken his own life.

Dillon was bold, funny, outgoing, athletic and sincere. He liked making other people feel better even if it was just him telling a super corny joke. He liked to ask questions and loved football.

“Well, there’s a lot of things I really love about Dillon, of my children he and I have the most similar personality, more outspoken, really passionate about the things that are really important to us. Where as my husband and my other older son, Sam, little more reserved,” expressed Mrs. Weatherly.

He also played a lot of instruments including piano, tuba, trombone, alto sax, bari sax, a little bit of guitar, and trumpet. He loved making and listening to music. His favorite song (according to his mom Felicia Weatherly) was Three Little birds by Bob Marley. He also liked songs like “So What” by Pink, and “Eye of the Tiger” by the band Survivor.

“Dillon was also very charming when he wanted to be. He also works really hard to prove that he have a chance on something.” Mrs. Weatherly speaks on how her son was kind smart and funny young man.

One thing that people didn’t know about Dillon was that he was a great writer. His mom now reads all the things he wrote. Now that Dillon has passed away, Mrs. Weatherly has things to read from her son.

Desmond Barrett, freshman student and one of Dillon’s closest friend said, “Dillon was just overall a good person and loved to make other people feel better, you know? He did that just by laughing, he was just one of those people.”

Most of the people who were close to Dillon were very happy, and one thing that reminds them of him is silly little things.

Over the Summer, Dillon rehearsed with the Syncopating Sea Monkeys or the Jazz band, he was playing the trumpet, her mother was really excited about Dillon being one of them. Being in the Jazz band benefits all people at school and the school itself but mostly to Mrs. Weatherly.

“…  For me personally, obviously this is my worst year of my life and they’ve really helped me, whether it’s just the spirit of the music… I mean they love each other, I love them, they love me and they help me like emotionally. Plus when they do well I feel like I’m fulfilled. For them, they have this group and this is what really kills me about the Dillon thing because he was here, he was so close… over the summer he was rehearsing with them, he was a part of us …”

With the Jazz band and Mrs. Weatherly carrying on with their lives without Dillon, they have a goal that they are going to spend time in New Orleans.

“Right now, I’m trying to get the Jazz band to New Orleans and getting money for that… we’re going to play on a radio too called WWOZ!”

They are raising money on a page called gofundme or just click this link https://www.gofundme.com/seamonkey, also they are selling bracelets and tickets for a spaghetti feed coming up soon. They are trying earn at least 20,000 dollars to help with airfare costs.

They are going to New Orleans in March and will be staying there for a week. They are doing this for their 20th anniversary and to make a history for them. For more information, there’s a Sea Monkey facebook called “ The Sea Monkeys of River City”.

“ My Passion is music. I love the spirit of the music, I love the performing, these kids are really great and I’m pretty much dedicated my career to this group.”

“He walked me down the aisle when I got married, that was pretty special and I danced with him  to the song called come rain or come shine,” said Mrs. Weatherly. She doesn’t let a day go by without thinking about  her son .

Suicide is a sensitive subject, to some more than others. Most people who were victims of suicide were between the ages between 45 and 64 years of age. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S and every year over 44,193 people commit suicide. Among students in grades 9-12 in the U.S. during 2013, 8.0% of students attempted suicide, one or more times in the previous 12 months (10.6% of females and 5.4% of males).

Statistics shows that the probability of suicide is the highest in the U.S. Within the U.S men are of the highest probability to commit suicide.

According to suicide.org, “Over 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death and the most common mental illness is depression.”

For some people who want to commit suicide,  they just act like they don’t have any problems. They just keep it to themselves and just give up.Anyone could be a victim of suicide, sometimes people just need someone to tell them that someone cares. If you or someone you know is suicidal please refer them to the suicidal hotline at 1-(800)273-8255.

Suicide brings pain to the friends and family members close with the victims leaving them with a missing piece that they can never get back.

Recently, Mrs. Weatherly with her jazz band the Sea Monkeys performed on GoodDay Sacramento. She was asked, “Why were they wearing a blue ribbon attached to their clothes?”

Mrs. Weatherly said, “ We lost a member during the summer, my son Dillon Weatherly, and uhm, so part of our journey here is to honor his memory and celebrate his life and that kinda strengthens us to make sure this happens.”

You’ll never know the value of a moment until it’s a memory.

Mrs. Weatherly and the Syncopating Sea Monkeys practicing.

Felicia Weatherly and Dillon Weatherly taking a pose for their family photo shoot.

Mrs. Weatherly and the Syncopating Sea Monkeys took a group photo after performing.

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A Mother’s Love That Never Dies